Germany aims to achieve greenhouse gas emission neutrality by 2045. To support progress towards this target, the funding measure CDRterra investigates the effectiveness of different technologies to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. As one of ten collaborative projects in CDRterra, the ABCDR project focuses specifically on agroforestry systems. Adopting agroforestry in suitable sites could indeed sequester a large part of the annual national carbon dioxide emissions while providing additional benefits to the wider society and the agricultural sector, such as protection against soil erosion and nitrogen pollution, and enhancement of pest control.

Agroforests can also result in higher economic profits for the farmer than pure annual monocultures. However, the initial investments in capital and labor are likely to increase. Additionally, for farmers willing to develop an agroforestry system, a major obstacle is often the institutional setting in which the adoption decision takes place. Land-use regulations are currently designed specifically for agriculture, forestry or nature protection, which result on a complex set of regulations, with substantial uncertainty on what rules apply in what context. This uncertain environment is not conducive to incentivizing farmers to experiment with agroforestry adoption. In Germany, the adoption of agroforestry is slowly but steadily attracting the attention of farmers and policy-makers, and ABCDR wants to contribute to this momentum.

ABCDR will engage on a bottom-up process to model the performance of agroforestry systems, from the farm level onto national and international settings. HortiBonn will use a decision analysis process to describe and quantify the potential farm-level benefits of adopting agroforestry, the barriers for their adoption and possible solutions in different contexts. Stakeholders will be engaged in the development of decision-analysis tools that will simulate the profitability and carbon sequestration of a set of different systems of their interest. The impacts of alternative policy scenarios on farm-level decisions will provide also a good tool for policy-makers to develop a land use regulatory setting more that aligns better with the needs of farmers and the wider society.

This process will also be used for further research on the biophysical and socioeconomic aspects of agroforestry systems at large national and internal scales by our project partner: the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), which will integrate agroforestry land use in global system models in order to better inform climate policies towards the achievement of the other Sustainable Development Goals, such as food security and poverty reduction. All tools developed within the ABCDR project will be freely available to stakeholders based on open-data and open-source standards, and the results will interplay with other initiatives of the CDR funding measure.

Work Package Leader

Prof. Dr. Eike Luedeling

Postdocs on the project

Dr. Marcos Jiménez Martínez, Dr. Prajna Kasargodu Anebagilu


01.09.2022 – 31.07.2025